Saluki women outshoot Illinois State

Saluki forward/center Dyana Pierre attempts a basket during SIUS 80-66 win against Wichita State on March 11 at SIU Arena. (DailyEgyptian.com file photo)

Saluki forward/center Dyana Pierre attempts a basket during SIU’S 80-66 win against Wichita State on March 11 at SIU Arena. (DailyEgyptian.com file photo)

By Thomas Donley, @tdonleyDE

Southern Illinois senior center Dyana Pierre’s first double-double in more than a month highlighted a team effort in a 68-55 win at Illinois State on Thursday.

The Salukis (18-9, 11-4 Missouri Valley Conference) had three players score in double figures and another put up nine as they outshot the Redbirds (6-20, 4-11) 49 percent to 32 percent.

Illinois State came away with six more offensive rebounds than SIU, but the Salukis scored 16 second-chance points to the Redbirds’ seven.

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ISU scored the first basket of the game, the fourth career 3-pointer for senior forward Octavia Crump, but SIU would lead for the final 35:52 of the game. Pierre scored 10 points and collected 10 rebounds in her first double-double since Jan. 24 at Missouri State.

SIU junior point guard Rishonda Napier continued her second-half dominance, scoring 15 of her game-high 18 points after halftime. Napier has scored 39 points in the second halves of her last two games.

Senior guard Cartaesha Macklin added 10 points for the Salukis, and sophomore center Celina VanHyfte scored nine.

Freshman guard Shakeela Fowler led ISU with 13 points. Senior guard Lexie Taylor added 12. Senior forward Octavia Crump scored 11 and led her team with eight rebounds.

The win ties SIU for second in the MVC with Missouri State (18-9, 11-4). The Salukis play at 1 p.m. Sunday at Indiana State (12-13, 8-6 MVC).

Thomas Donley can be reached at [email protected] or at 618-536-3307

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